Mixed Blessings

by Satin Ragdoll

McCoy answered the door chime to his Georgia family home, "Spock! Thank goodness you're here. I'm at a loss, Spock. Much as I hate to say it, I need your help. Come in, please."

Spock wordlessly quirked a brow and followed McCoy into the house. He had been surprised at McCoy's call. Spock knew that it would take extraordinary circumstances for his friend to call on him for help. The doctor had always been very independent, not wanting to rely on anyone else.

Once inside, Spock's sensitive Vulcan hearing picked up a very young, feminine voice. "That move was highly illogical, Lauren. Have you been consuming too much sugar this evening, because I believe I have you!"

Spock turned to McCoy and his eyebrow climbed even higher. Bones sighed, "Yeah. Have a seat, and have a drink if you've a mind to. I'll probably be needing one soon. I'll be right back."

Spock heard Bones in the hall, "Honey? Come out and be sociable for a bit. We've got a visitor." There was a sigh, "Very well, Grandpa." Both Spock's brows rose. Leonard's grand-daughter, Jamie, was here? He would finally get to meet her. McCoy had spoken of her so often, but he had yet to make Jamie's acquaintance.

McCoy returned in the company of a female child approximately eight years of age. She had a cap of black curls, McCoy's blue eyes...and pointed Vulcan ears.

oOo

Bones turned to her, "My dear, this is Mr. Spock." Her blue eyes got big as saucers. She looked up at McCoy and silently quirked a brow. He grinned, "Yes, 'the' Mr. Spock."

Her little shoulders straightened and she gave the Vulcan salute, "Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock."

Spock returned the salute, "Peace, and long life, Jamie McCoy."

She smiled the slightest bit, "My middle name is T'Gai, the same as yours, in your honor, Mr. Spock.

Spock blinked. He had not expected that. McCoy patted her shoulder, "You can go back to your game, now. How do you like it, by the way?"

The child smiled a little more, "3D chess is a satisfactory challenge, Grandpa. I appreciate the present. Fortunately, Lauren is an apt player, for I do not know anyone else at my skill level."

McCoy eyed Spock, "Well, maybe Mr. Spock will play with you. He's very good."

She raised her brow in Spock's direction, regarding him with fresh interest, "Indeed! Perhaps you would be willing to play?"

Spock slowly nodded at her, "Perhaps."

McCoy patted her shoulder again, "Go on and play now, Jamie. Mr. Spock and I have things we have to discuss."

The child smiled, "Okay, Grandpa." She leaned up on tip-toe to kiss him on the cheek before retreating to her room, leaving Spock to raise his brow at her retreating back.

oOo

McCoy poured himself a drink before sinking with a sigh into one of the pieces of overstuffed furniture. He was quiet for a bit, so Spock spoke first, "I am gratified to finally meet her. She seems much as you described, Doctor."

Bones sighed, "Yeah. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to get Joanna to bend and let you see Jamie until now. I wanted you to meet her, I really did. It's just...after Surran's death, Joanna became a little...unreasonable. Stubborn as her old man. Thing is, she has no choice, now. She's gone and picked up Turrelian fever. You know how that is."

Spock frowned a little, "Unfortunate."

McCoy nodded, "She'll be in quarantine for a year, Spock. A whole year! Jocelyn's gone and I'm the only other family little Jamie has, so I'm it. She's a little, tiny, blue-eyed version of you, Spock, and I don't know what to do with her! I've been trying my best, but I'm over my head and I know it. I told Joanna that either I could see if you would help, or she could hire a nanny to help me. She bent, so here we are."

Spock steepled his fingers, "Doctor, if Joanna does not care for me, why did she give Jamie my middle name? That's highly illogical."

McCoy smiled fondly, "To get her mind off her grief, I told Joanna stories about as many of our exploits on the Enterprise as I could get away with, Spock. She holds both you and Kirk in very high regard. It's just she knows how you used to be. Admit it, Spock, you used to try to be uber-Vulcan. Kholinar, and all that."

Spock quirked a brow, "I have changed a lot since then."

Bones nodded. "I tried to convince Joanna of that, but she thinks I might be kind of biased. In your favor, that is. Hmm, imagine that. She raised Jamie half on Earth and half on Vulcan because she wanted Jamie to truly be able to make her own choices in life, whether to be Vulcan or human or whatever. She's certainly become her own person! Jamie's more of a true hybrid than you ever were, no offense."

Spock responded quietly, "None taken. I noticed her emotional response to you."

Bones considered the liquid in his glass, "Yeah. The child is remarkable, Spock. You saw her. She will logic you into a corner, yet is no slouch when it comes to using the old emotions."

He straightened up, "I need back up, Spock. I hate to admit it, but I'm an old softie and no match for the little lady, all alone. So what say, Spock. Help an old friend?"

Spock steepled his fingers, "I am intrigued, Doctor, and am inclined to accept your request of assistance."

Bones sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, "Thank Heaven. I knew I could count on you. Thank you, Spock. Maybe you could visit with her a bit before you leave?"

Spock's lips tipped up the barest bit, "That would be acceptable."

oOo

Jamie was already in bed when Spock came in. She sat up as Spock sat on the edge of the mattress. He regarded her, "How are you faring?"

She titled her head at him, "I am assuming you are regarding my general welfare as to my dual nature, as well as having my mother in quarantine?"

Spock nodded. Jamie smiled at him a little, "I miss her, although there is nothing to be done. Grandpa has been very kind to me. I am fond of him."

Her brows drew down a little in concentration, "As to my dual nature, some would say it was a 'mixed blessing' as in there is positive and negative. However, I prefer 'mixed blessings', plural, in that I have found both sides of my nature to be of benefit."

Both of Spock's brows shot up. This was not something he was expecting.

Jamie continued, "My mother taught me emotions are good things. My Vulcan teachers taught me to control them. But the most important lesson was from Miss Evelyn, my Human violin teacher."

Spock prompted her, "And that was?"

"It was that the end goal was not merely control, but mastery. And that mastery was only achieved through familiarity, experimentation, and constant practice. So I have have been putting myself in deliberately emotional circumstances, plus I have been trying to learn to express said emotions in ways that are both appropriate and beneficial. So far the results have been...illuminating."

Spock blinked at her. Very slowly he queried, "May I have an example?" He had the sense that her...experimentation...might prove problematic at best.

The ends of her mouth curled up, "I have several Human friends, that is not the problem. But my Vulcan contemporaries have been harsh, even cruel. They kept taunting me, trying to get an emotional reaction. So I decided to give them one."

"What did you do?" Very problematic.

"I smiled at them," she gave Spock a blinding smile, "and then I roared like an animal and chased the meanest one. They scattered, which was acceptable. Now they leave me alone, which is what I wished. All it takes is giving one of them my full attention, and they find something to do elsewhere. Strangely, one of the shyest actually made friendship overtures afterwards. Fascinating, and very satisfactory."

Spock took a deep breath. He found her methods...interesting, but she had to know there were some limits. "I noticed you kissed McCoy on the cheek. That is something a Vulcan will not accept, Jamie."

She crooked a brow at him, "I know, Mr. Spock. I'm not stupid. Grandpa is Human." Her expression drained of emotion, "As I am Human."

Spock stiffened, his sense of self affronted at her words.

She regarded him steadily, squaring her shoulders, "I am Human, and I am Vulcan. I do not follow the Human way, and I do not follow the Vulcan way. I am Jamie T'Gai McCoy, and I follow my own way, thank you very much!" Her expression softened, and she smiled, "Besides, it is entirely within my rights to do something to strengthen familial bonds." With that she leaned over and kissed Spock on the cheek.

Spock got a quick flash of a bright mind overlaid with playful affection. "Jamie, we do not have a familial bond."

She quirked her brow at him, "You consider Grandpa a brother, do you not?"

Spock nodded, "I do."

"Then you are my Great Uncle Spock." With that she snuggled under the covers and closed her eyes.

Spock just sat there a few minutes, stunned. Very gently he touched one of her curls, "Sleep well, Jamie."

The ends of her mouth curled upwards in her sleep.

oOo

McCoy was sitting up, reading a book, when Spock came down. "How'd it go?"

Spock sat down and steepled his fingers, "You have not exaggerated in how precocious she is. I can see where you would have difficulty. I will help you in your endeavor as much as I can, Doctor."

Bones sighed, "Thank you, Spock. You have no idea how much this is a load off my mind. She's quite a handful."

Spock frowned, "Jamie is much too large to fit in one's hand, Doctor."

Bones laughed. He raised his half empty glass in toast, "To parenthood." He took a swig and eyed Spock, "By the way, what's she call you?"

"'Great Uncle Spock'."

McCoy almost choked, and Spock's lips curled up the tiniest, tiniest bit.

Fin.